The holiday season is a busy time for most people. No one has time for anything because "this time of year is crazy," right? That doesn't mean the real estate market shuts down. In fact, the period from Thanksgiving through New Year's can be a great time to buy or sell a house. Think I'm nuts? Hear me out.
Why you should buy?
There are typically fewer buyers in the market during the holiday season than other times, although the federal tax credit may boost the number of buyers this season. Fewer buyers mean less competition, which could give you more time to make an offer or consider your options.
Home inspectors, appraisers, title companies, and anyone else involved in the homebuying process may have less business and, therefore, may have more time to work on your transaction. And, many movers charge less in the winter than during the peak seasons of spring and summer.
Some sellers avoid listing their properties at this time of year, so it's possible that the property you find will have a motivated seller. The house may be on the market during the holidays because it's been for sale longer than the owner expected. Or the seller may not be able to wait until the spring, which could result in a better deal for you.
Why you should sell?
You won't find many casual buyers during the holiday season. A couple who views your home on December 23 likely isn't doing so to pass the time. Your home will also stand out better with less inventory in the MLS. Combine fewer homes on the market with mostly serious buyers, and that sets you up for a closed transaction.
And with so many consumers using the Internet for part of their home search, it's no longer a big deal if it's cold and raining outside when your home is on the market. Buyers can locate your listing from the warmth of their living room and schedule a showing on a more pleasant day.
Built-in staging ideas
Sellers sometimes struggle with how to decorate their homes to appeal to consumers. Well, during the holiday season, you don't have to think too long to come up with a theme. A tasteful display of holiday decorations can show off your home at its best but keep in mind, 1000 blinking lights on the roof with a blow-up Santa and motorized reindeer in the yard may not be a wise choice.
Talk to an expert
If you're planning to buy or sell your home this holiday season, sit down with a Realtor. Sellers can discuss holiday marketing, pricing, and decorating ideas. With the right guidance and a desire to buy or sell property, you and your family could end up with a great gift this holiday season – a successful real estate transaction. For more information visit ArlingtonRealtor.com.